It’s never easy to start a diet and lose weight. In fact, it may just be one of the most challenging things out there. You keep mixing food to try to find the right combination, and it usually ends up in utter disappointment. Then there’s the tragedy of working out through an often busy schedule, which also doesn’t have much of a happy ending.

Truth is, if you want to lose weight and gain some muscle mass, a healthy diet is your best option. But that doesn’t necessarily mean removing all foods you like from your current diet or starving yourself. It just means there are some elements that you’re going to have to include in your diet.

These are 8 foods that can help you build muscle and lose fat..

1. Fish

Not just any fish, fatty ones. Aside from the fact they taste delicious, fatty fish contains the very important omega-3 fatty acids, which not only has serious health benefits but also has been shown to reduce body fat. Examples of fatty fish include sardines, salmon, and mackerel.

2. Lean beef

This is probably one of the more important elements of your diet if you plan on gaining muscle mass. Lean beef contains elements that are crucial to your muscle growth, most notably iron and zinc. Moreover, beef contains proteins, which is what muscles need to grow, and its high-quality proteins, not just any.

3. Vegetables and fruits

Fiber, vitamins C and E, and antioxidants are just some of the very important things your body needs and can only get through vegetables and fruits. If you’re going full vegan, you’ll be needing some other supplements to help you with muscle growth, which you can find examples of at Vegan Lyftz.

4. Coffee

Forget whatever it is you’ve heard about the damage of coffee. In fact, one of the most important elements you can add to your diet. Coffee not only has benefits to your heart, but it can also help you with burning fat if you drink consistently.

5. Eggs

Eggs need to be a staple in your diet if you’re opting for fat burning and weight loss. They have massive nutritional values, and more importantly, they’re a full breakfast that can help you feel full for several hours.

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal helps you feel full real quick, and it is also a great source of carbohydrates, which you need in your diet no matter what you might think.

7. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese contains a lot of protein, and it’s great for muscle maintenance. The type of protein in cottage cheese is also slow digesting, which means it is perfect for your muscle growth in the long run.

8. Green tea

Green tea has many benefits which make it a worthy inclusion in this list. It has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease and protect against certain types of cancer. Moreover, green tea has been proven to help with weight loss and fat burning.

The problem many people face when trying out a new diet plan is they get frustrated real quick, which is quite understandable. You’ve probably dabbled in a few others before, and their lackluster results haven’t really made an argument for going on with a new plan. Still, it takes time and commitment to achieve your weight loss and muscle growth goals, and will definitely not happen overnight. Go out there and experiment with different diets and add these elements, and give it time to see what happens. You never know which time will click and actually help you achieve your dream body goals.